Weekend Planner

Your Top 7 Things to Do: June 29-July 5

Fourth of July fireworks, the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix, Kevin Nealon at McCurdy’s and more.

By Ilene Denton June 29, 2017

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Powerboat racing off Lido Beach in 2016.

Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival

June 29-July 2

They’re back—those ferociously big powerboats that make up the 33rd annual Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival. Thursday night is the kickoff party at Michael’s on the Bay at Selby Gardens, followed Friday night by the Boats on Main block party at Main and Lemon, a Fan Fest Saturday and Sunday at Centennial Park, and boat racing in the Gulf both days. Suncoast Charities for Children is the beneficiary. Find the complete schedule of events here

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Fourth of July fireworks.

Fourth of July Fireworks

July 4

The long holiday weekend ends with a bang. Best places to catch the Fourth of July fireworks, which start at dusk: at downtown Sarasota’s Bayfront Park; on Siesta Key public beach; in Bradenton and Palmetto over the Manatee River Green Bridge; and in Venice at the South Jetty. 

All American Cookout at Selby Gardens

July 4

Selby Gardens’ popular Fourth of July party returns with grilled fare for purchase, live music by SoulRCoaster, children’s games and fireworks over Sarasota Bay. Catch a trolley starting at 5 p.m. from the Friendship Center on Brother Geenan Way. A special VIP “Selby Experience” ticket gets you valet parking at the Gardens, plus food and drink.

Myakka River Kayak Festival at Snook Haven

July 4

Snook Haven presents this lively Fourth of July party, with kayaking on the wild and scenic Myakka River, live bluegrass music, backwoods barbecue and 30-plus craft beers for purchase. Free admission. Bring your kayak or canoe, or rent one, or just come for the Old-Florida atmosphere. It benefits the Friends of Sarasota County Parks.

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Kevin Nealon

Kevin Nealon

July 30-July 1

The acclaimed stand-up comic, actor (Weeds, etc.) and longtime SNL cast member returns to McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre for four shows Friday and Saturday nights.

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The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey

The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey

July 5-Aug 6

A 14-year-old boy disappears from his New Jersey home, and a small-town detective unravels the mystery—along the way portraying more than a dozen characters. An intriguing Southwest Florida regional premiere at Florida Studio Theatre. 

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Choral Artists of Sarasota

Choral Artists of Sarasota: “Voices of Freedom”

July 4

If you’re heading downtown to enjoy the Fourth of July fireworks, consider this late afternoon concert of patriotic songs, presented by Choral Artists of Sarasota (formerly Gloria Musicae). On the program: “God Bless America,” “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “Stars and Stripes Forever” and lots more. At First Church on Pineapple Avenue.

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The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey

Editor’s Pick Florida Studio Theatre

FST presents the award-winning regional premiere play.


Choral Artists of Sarasota: Voices of Freedom

Editor’s Pick $30 in advance; $35 at the door; $15 for students First Church

The Choral Artists of Sarasota salute Independence Day with rousing songs celebrating America.

Special Events

All American Cookout at Selby Gardens

Editor’s Pick Members $25, adults $35, children 4-12 $10 Selby Gardens

Celebrate the Fourth of July at Selby Gardens.

Special Events

Myakka River Kayak Festival - 4th of July Jam Blast

Editor’s Pick Free admission. Food and drink to purchase, Snook Haven

An all-day Fourth of July event at Snook Haven.